"A walk to Grantchester Meadows reminds me never to give up on the way – you never know how beautiful the destination might be"twitter/camincamera

I’m probably stating the obvious in saying that the loveliest and most scenic walk to take around Cambridge is the Cambridge-to-Grantchester’ one. At least that’s what I used to call the walk, before realising that it actually has a pastoral-sounding name: Grantchester Meadows.

“For a young French lady like me, this is the epitome of Britishness”

For a young French lady like me, this is the epitome of Britishness. While sheep, cows, fields and stiles are strong contenders, the tearooms and pubs in Grantchester take the top spot when it comes to this concept. Of course, ‘Britishness’ consists of much more than this list alone, but Grantchester does bear an uncanny resemblance to how I pictured the settings of Far from the Madding Crowd and Cold Comfort Farm.

When I walk past MillWorks and cross The Fen Causeway, I always feel like I’ve just reached the other side of the looking glass. Simply by crossing a busy road, it strikes me that I find myself in (what appears to be) the middle of the countryside. There are cows, goats, ducks and swans – and I’m pretty sure I saw a heron once too. I am amazed at how town and country coalesce around here, but beyond the picturesque ‘Britishness’ of it all, what strikes me is how this path epitomises life. This is because I’ve always pictured my life as a long path: whenever I am worried about something, I picture a cloud. When I feel happy, I visualise the sun shining above my head.

“I didn’t mind, but I am not sure I can say the same for my trainers and socks”

When I have important choices to make every now and then, the image of my path suddenly dividing in a myriad of smaller ones is conjured up. When there is an obstacle, I picture a huge fallen tree across my path, which makes it impossible to see beyond it. Yet, as the poet Robert Frost once said, ‘the best way out is always through’. No matter what, you have to keep walking.

"As naive and idealistic as it may sound, the saying ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ certainly possesses a lot of truth"https://pixabay.com/illustrations/autumn-tree-field-golden-autumn-1817134/

I ran to Grantchester Meadows last week so that I could refresh my memory for this article. The first obstacles I came across were mud and puddles. It honestly had not occurred to me that, as it had heavily rained the day before, jogging might not be the best idea. I didn’t mind, but I am not sure that I can say the same for my trainers and socks. The second obstacle I faced, then, was the occasional branch which slowed me down. I often didn’t even see the branches before they were right in my face, because I was so distracted by the view. I think, though, that the most rewarding roads are usually the most uneven ones – as needless to say – once I (eventually) arrived in Grantchester, all the memories of the ‘obstacles’ instantly faded away. So, remember that if you find yourself standing in the middle of a muddy path with the wind whipping your face, you will see the sunshine again.


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The journey is always worth it. In fact, it makes me (for one) appreciate the destination even more. If (as is the case) Grantchester is the loveliest village, the journey in and of itself is actually perfect enough and its so-called imperfections are what make it so special. After a rather long (and muddy) walk, the reward of a beautiful view is always welcome. A tea at The Orchard, alongside scones or a delicious ginger beer at the Blue Ball Inn also never fail to disappoint. Even though we’ll all have to wait a bit longer to enjoy these treats again, I’m sure that the wait will be worth it.

As naive and idealistic as it may sound, the saying ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ certainly possesses a lot of truth. At the risk of sounding unconvincing, a walk to Grantchester Meadows reminds me never to give up on the way – you never know how beautiful the destination might be.